Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Marshmallow Cupcakes.

 
I am writing this while watching last weeks Red Dwarf episode so lets see how this turns out. I love Red Dwarf and the Cat is hilarious, I'm really glad it's come back. I decided to make Marshmallow cupcakes this week in practise for christmas again as I was hoping to make them for my two little cousins and my little nephew instead of the Black Forest Gateau ones I am making for the adults. I've never been a fan of marshmallows though but, these cupcakes looked really sweet in my cupcake cook book so I decided to make them anyway.
 
As a vegetarian I also had to order some special vegan marshmallows from ebay as all the ones in the shop were made with gelatine. They were quite expensive but, they were actually really yummy and my mum who is also not a big fan of marshmallows actually said she much preferred the veggie ones to normal marshmallows.
 
These marshmallow cupcakes are very sweet and really tasty. The cream topping is gorgeous and the sponge is lovely and soft. However, I was a little dissapointed with the overall finish and didn't think they looked as professional and cute as in the book. I need to work on the topping if I'm going to make them for christmas and I'm also going to add a bit of festive sparkle with some edible silver glitter if I do make them. I also had to top them with ordinary pink marshmallows this time as I ran out of the vegetarian ones but that would be fine for the boys and I just pick them off too. I think the shop I bought the veggie vanilla marshmallows from on ebay also sells some pink strawberry flavoured ones too though if I did want to make them completely veggie.

 
Recipe

50g marshmallows
125g butter
100g caster sugar
2 eggs
150g self-raising flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Topping-
75g marshmallows, plus extra chopped pieces to scatter
300ml double cream





Method

1. Line a 12 section bun tray with paper cupcake cases and cut the marshmallows into pieces using kitchen scissors.
2. Put all the remaining cake ingredients in a bowl and beat with a hand-held electric whisk for about a minute until light and creamy. Stir in the marshmallow pieces and then divide the cake mixture between the cupcake cases.
3. Bake in a preheated oven at 180C for about 15 minutes or until risen and just firm to touch. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
4. Cut the marshmallows for the topping into small pieces and put about a third in a small saucepan with half the cream. Heat very gently until melted. Tip into a bowl and leave to cool.
5. Whip the remaining cream in a bowl until just holding its shape. Stir in the marshmallow cream and remaining marshmallow pieces, then pile on to the cakes. Finally, scatter with extra chopped marshmallow pieces to serve. Waalaaa!

 
Thankyou for reading!
Love Courts x

Tuesday Tunes.

 
Song Of The Week: Brand New - Jude Law And A Semester Abroad.
 
I love this song. The lyrics are brilliant. 'And even if her plane crashes tonight she'll find some way to disappoint me, by not burning in the wreckage, or drowning at the bottom of the sea.' I really like Brand New but, I'd never really listened to them properly before until about a couple of months ago when I downloaded their first album; Your Favourite Weapon which is really good. Other than that though I still haven't listened to them properly even now, apart from probably their two most famous, well known songs; The Quiet Things That Noone Ever Knows and Sic Transit Gloria... Glory Fades, both of which are incredible songs, so I'll have to have a good listen to them soon. The Quiet Things That Noone Ever Knows is really sad and has really powerful meaningful lyrics while Sic Transit Gloria... Glory Fades is really cool, creepy and twisted. I think this would have to be my favourite Brand New song at the moment though. I'd deffinately recommend listening to them if you've never heard of them before or never really listened to many of their songs before like me as they are a really good band and have written some amazing songs and lyrics.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Wednesday Wish-list.

Topshop have some really cool halloweeny style tops in at the moment. I particuarly love this rib cage top, it takes me a bit back to my emo kid 13 year old days and reminds me of my many trips to Blue Banana. I think it looks really cool and rocky and I love that the t-shirt is bright red as it's very different. I also like the black version of this top alot and originally wanted it in black but red seems a bit more exciting and different. I never get red clothes. I'm pretty sure every t-shirt I own is either black or white. 
 

Topshop Red Polka Dot Dress - I'm quite a fan of red at the moment it would seem maybe it's my liverpool fan routes or my festive mood. This dress I'm pretty sure came out last year but I have seen a couple on ebay recently. I love it, it's really sweet and girly and I love polka dots and the cute scalloped collar. I'll have to keep my out in case one is being sold on ebay. The white and brown versions are always on there and I like them but I'd really like it in red.
I am in love with these boots. I have really wanted a pair of black ankle boots for ages now, especially for winter. I was planning on getting a pair from primark but, when I got there and tried them on I wasn't actually that impressed by any of them. I also originally wanted a pair of suede style desert boots from ebay but I figured they wouldn't last in the horrible rainy weather and I also actually prefer the leather style ones now. The only thing with these is, apart from the rather hefty £55 price tag, they are also real leather :/. As a vegetarian I never buy leather products and I would feel so terrible and contradictory if I did. I do love them though I just don't know if thats enough to go against something I'm so passionate about. I wish they made some nice studded faux leather boots!

 
 
I really like this dress and cannot believe it is only £15. I love the baroque print and gold detailing and I also think it is very pretty and feminine and looks far more expensive than it is. I think it would look great on a night out.
 
I really like the simplicity of this dip dye top. As I have said before I love the dip dye trend and this top gets really good reviews. I also saw it in topshop the other day and I love the loose fitting,slouchy style.


Topshop Dinosaur Top - I have always loved the Topshop dinosaur top since it came out. Again I will have to search ebay for it now as it is sold out. I have wanted it for a long time but my mum convinced me it was a bit kiddy and that I would hardly wear it but, now I have changed my mind and am going to start looking for it again. Hopefully it sells for a bit less now than the thirty odd pounds I saw it selling for in the summer.


I love the colour of both of these nail varnishes from topshop. The gold one is called Stardust and the blue one is called Junk Yard. They are quite expensive but I think they are really pretty and I love the glitter and think they will be perfectly festive for christmas.


I really like this floral blazer from boohoo aswell. I think it would look perfect with some nice black skinny jeans, some pretty heels and a blouse and collar like in the picture. I really want a nice collar but everytime I see one I like it is sold out.
Floral Boohoo Blazer

 


I love the Inbetweeners. It is hilarious. I would love the boxset to have a good giggle to and I might order it off amazon soon although, a few weeks ago it was only £10 and now it's about £15 which I know isn't that much difference but it's a bit annoying that it's gone up.
 
Inbetweeners Boxset

 
Thankyou for reading!
 
Love Courts x

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

White Chocolate Snowball Cupcakes.

 
 
IIIIITT'SSSSS CHRIIISTMAAAS! as Noddy Holder would say. Well... in 63 days :/. I guess that's quite alot really. Still, I maintain it is okay to be a little excited, it is christmas afterall. Plus the whole month of December is festive and lovely anyway and that's not too far away really. I may even treat myself to an advent calendar this year, I don't think you can ever really be too old for one. Everyone loves chocolate! The lindt one looks gorgeous but I'm sure I saw it was about £8 or £10 in ASDA the other day. How ridiculous. I wish they did a Terry's Chocolate orange one or a Reeses peanut butter cup one. Yum.

Anyway, the reason for my far too premature yuletide excitement is that I am hoping to give my friends and family some little boxes of cupcakes this year to accompany their main presents so I thought I'd try out some recipes now so that I have them ready to bake in time for christmas. I've already tried two Gingerbread Cupcake with Caramel Frosting recipes and one of them was actually really nice and my sister loved it but it was a bit more cinamonny than gingery so I think I need to work on it's ginger flavour to try and make it taste a bit more like a gingerbread man. My other recipe was also okay but not my favourite as it tasted a bit too much like black treacle for my liking but, my grandad thought it was delicious so it can't have been that bad. Then again he's my grandad so maybe he has to say that else he'd be dashing my hopes and dreams of one day opening my little cupcake bakery.

Anyway, I still need to perfect my Gingerbread Cupcake and Caramel Frosting recipe but in the meantime I thought I'd try another christmassy recipe and I'm not going to change a thing about this one. The white chocolate frosting is sweet and fudgey and the sponge is soft and moist in the middle with a crisp outer because of the little chocolate chips inside which is lovely and they taste delicious. How adorable are they aswell? Making the curls is a bit awkward actually, for me anyway as I had to keep popping my white chocolate into the microwave to melt it a bit so that I could get some nice curls without the chocolate crumbling to pieces. Still, it was deffinately worth it and I think the cupcakes look really sweet, simple and pretty. I also think they are quite festivey and look like little snowballs especially dusted with a bit of icing sugar. When I first popped it in the microwave I left it in the foil wrapper. Big mistake. Now, I know you are not supposed to put foil in the microwave but I figured 5 seconds couldn't hurt. Surely nothing could happen? As soon as I turned it on sparks flew and my whole wrapper melted. Luckily I was able to rescue my chocolate but the wrapper smelt and looked all burnt and horrible. Apparently even 5 seconds is too much, who knew?

I'm hoping to give everyone a box of four cupcakes which will include; a White Chocolate Snowball one, a Gingerbread one with Caramel Frosting, a Chocolate Orange one and then a Marshmallow one for the kids and a Blackforest Gateaux one for the adults. I'd like to get some pretty little gift boxes for them too. I love these ones but they are very expensive. Damn my love of cupcakes, cute things and christmas it all equates to an expensive taste.










Recipe
150g butter
150g caster sugar
175g self-raising flour, sieved
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
50g white chocolate chips
100g chunky white chocolate
White Chocolate Fudge Frosting
200g white chocolate, chopped
5 tbsp. milk
175g icing sugar

icing sugar for dusting

1. Line a cupcake tin with 12 paper cake cases.
2. Put the butter and sugar in a bowl and beat with a hand-held electric whisk for about 2 minutes until light and creamy.
3. Beat in the eggs and fold the flour into the mixture with a metal spoon being careful not to remove the incorporated air.
4. Stir in the chocolate chips and vanilla extract.
5. Divide the cake mixture evenly between the paper cases and bake in a pre-heated oven at 180C for about 17 minutes until risen and the sponge bounces back when lightly pressed with a finger.
6. Transfer to a wire rack to cool and prepare the white chocolate curls. Pare curls from the white chocolate using a vegetable peeler - if the chocolate breaks off in small, brittle shards, try softening it in a microwave for a few seconds. Set the chocolate curls aside in a cool place while icing the cakes.
7. Prepare the chocolate frosting.Put the chocolate and milk in a heatproof bowl. Set the bowl over a pan of very gently simmering water and leave until melted, stirring frequently. Then, remove the bowl from the pan and stir in the icing sugar until smooth. Spread the frosting over the cupcakes while still warm. (I actually found my frosting to be a bit runny though so I popped it into the fridge to stiffen up a bit for about 20 minutes before spreading it on top of the cupcakes with a pallette knite and then I piled the chocolate curls on top of the cupcakes and lightly dusted with some icing sugar.

This recipe is from the hamlyn 200 cupcakes book which if you like baking and cupcakes I would highly recommend purchasing as it's really good and has some delicious, unique little recipes.


Thankyou for reading!

Love Courts x


Tuesday Tunes.

 
Song Of The Week : Angels & Airwaves - Shove.
This song is beautiful. I really love Angels & Airwaves, Tom's voice is so gorgeous and unique and their songs are always mellow and lovely with amazing and sweet lyrics. I hope you enjoy! Angels & Airwaves songs never fail to cheer you up and make you smile :).
 
 
Thankyou for listening!
 
Love Courts x

Roast Vegetable Lasagne.

 
I love Roast Vegetable Lasagne and I usually order it whenever I go out anywhere as long as it's on the menu. I've always struggled to find a really tasty recipe of my own though. They always tasted okay but, the flavour was always a bit subtle and bland which, was the same for my Macaroni cheese. Recently I've worked on both recipes though and I have managed to come up with two recipes which I really like and which are full of flavour. This is a bit of a cheats lasagne really in terms of my roast vegetable filling as I buy a bag of frozen Grilled Meditteranean Roast Vegetables with Cherry Tomatoes from Tesco which, is absoloutely delicious. I buy it because it is so yummy and I think it would also work out cheaper than buying all the individual vegetables that come in it which will be handy for University next year aswell. By all means though roast your own vegetables and I should probably work on doing that myself to make it more homemade. Roast vegetables always taste lovely and I make my own roast vegetables all the time anyway. I make a Gnocchi Bake containing my own roast vegetables too which I actually like more than my lasagne as its full of flavour and I will post that recipe next time I make it too so, maybe I should roast my own vegetables for my lasagne as it might make this recipe even nicer.
 
This lasagne is lovely and warming for the winter days and is rich, creamy and delicious. I make my own tomato and basil sauce which is lovely and can also be used as a lovely basic tomato sauce for other pasta dishes and then I also make a basic white roux sauce aswell and top the lasgne with lots of tasty grated cheddar. Isn't cheese incredible?
 
This last time I made it I actually got a little inpatient and took it out of the oven before the cheese topping had bronzed a bit as I was really hungry and you can see that in the pictures. I would recommend trying to wait until it does brown a bit though as it creates a lovely flavour and provides an attractive finish. It's very difficult to wait though as it smells gorgeous cooking in the oven! I also always have a nice big slice with some garlic bread as I love garlic bread. I'd like to maybe try and make some home-made garlic bread myself soon too actually.

Recipe

Bag or tray of tasty frozen or fresh roast vegetables from the supermarket or roast your own vegetables in 1tbsp. olive oil such as; 1 Courgette, 1 Red Pepper, 1 Yellow Pepper, 1 Red Onion, 10 Cherry Tomatoes, 1/2 Aubergine etc. or whatever roast vegetables you like. Roast parsnips, carrot, sweet potato and asparagus are also lovely.
White Roux Sauce
50g Plain Flour
50g Butter
600ml Semi-skimmed milk
Pinch of salt and pepper
Tomato and Basil Sauce
2 tbsp. Olive oil
2 Cloves of garlic
2x Tins of (400g) Chopped Tomatoes
1 Crumbled Stock Cube
2 tbsp. Tomato Puree
1 tsp. Sugar
Handful of basil leaves

6 Fresh Egg Lasagne Sheets (I use Tesco's 250g Pack)
100g Grated Cheddar Cheese

1. First roast your chosen vegetables. I fry my bag of Tesco frozen vegetables in 1tbsp. olive oil until they are cooked through and soft. You could also obviously roast them in olive oil in a tray in the oven until cooked. If you are roasting your own vegetables, peel and chop them, place them in a casserole dish and drizzle over olive oil. Place them in the oven at 200C and roast for about 30 to 40 minutes (depending on the vegetables you have chosen) until the vegetables are soft and lightly browned. Carrots, potaoes and parsnips would take longer to roast than other vegetables for example.
2. Next prepare the tomato and basil sauce. Crush the garlic or chop it finely and fry for about 2 minutes in the olive oil. Add the tins of chopped tomatoes, crushed stock cube, sugar and tomato puree, stir and simmer gently on a medium heat until warmed though. Finally, add a generous handful of torn, fresh basil leaves and stir into the sauce before setting aside to prepare the white sauce.
3. Then prepare the white roux sauce. Melt the butter in a pan over a medium heat and stir the flour into the melted butter, remaining over the heat for about a minute. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the warm milk a bit at a time to make a smooth, glossy paste free from lumps. Finally add the remaining milk and stir. Return to the heat and simmer gently until the sauce thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon. Once thick remove from the heat and again set aside. 
4. Now assemble the lasagne. Arrange a layer of vegetables on the bottom of the casserole dish and top with a third of the tomato sauce. Place 2 lasagne sheets on top and then drizzle over some white sauce before repeating until you have 3 layers of lasagne. Finally, scatter the grated cheese over the final layer of white sauce and place in the oven for about 25-30 minutes to warm through and bake until bubbling and golden.


5. Serve with your favourite crusty, yummy garlic bread.
Perfect.

 
 
 
Thankyou for reading!
 
Love Courts x

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Wishlist-Jumpers Galore.

With this chilly weather we're having at the moment I want nothing more than to wrap up warm in a nice cosy jumper and ofcourse having the obsession with clothes that I do there are endless numbers of jumpers on my shopping list at the moment.


 
 I really want a tacky/cheesy festive christmas jumper this year as odd as that sounds. The cringier, brighter and merrier the better. I adore christmas and I still get as excited as I did when I was a little girl. I really wanted this one as it's really cute and festive but it's now been bought on etsy which is a bit gutting so hopefully I can find another one a bit like this lovely one. 65 days until Christmas and I already can't wait! (:
This is another jumper I really like so I hope this one is still available, I'll have to have a check in a minute. I love the bright colours and I have really wanted a vintage American College sweatshirt for absoloutely ages and I think this would be a really fun and very unique one to get so fingers crossed it will still be available when the paypacket comes in. I was a bit concerned that when it arrived it would be a bit too bright for me though and that I wouldn't really wear it but, I do really like it and it's cheery, casual vibe so I'm sure I'll be pulling it out of the wardrobe lots.

 I love love love this gorgeous jumper from Topshop and I saw it the other day in the store when I was in Plymouth and instantly wanted it. It has a really pretty aztec print and it is lovely and soft, thick and cosy and perfect for the chilly winter months to come and I really want to buy this one even at £45. I think it will have to be my first purchase if the first wage packet isn't too shabby.

This would be another item to add to my list of many many ebay purchases. I really like it, again it is very loose and casual and looks nice and comfy which I like. I also love that it is dip dye as I love dip dye clothes at the moment and the grungey vibe they have. I also really like the colours of this one but, it does keep selling out so again fingers crossed the stocks will last.

 Another cool, grungey dip dye jumper from Ebay. I love the rocky vibe to this one with the studs on the shoulders and again I love the casual vibe and how it is made more on trend, fun and exciting by the dip dye styling. I really like the green colours to this one as well as I love the colour green.

My sister just bought this jumper from ASDA for me for christmas actually and I am very happy. The colouring is lovely and simple yet effective. I love the greys and ombre style and it also has pretty flecks of deep purple wool in throughout which is nice. She also let me try it on as she had to order a size bigger than I normally am as my size wasn't in stock and I love it. It's perfect, soft and cosy and I kind of wish I bought it for myself now as I want to wear it now!

This is a nice jumper from Ark however, I'm not sure if I like it enough to purchase it actually. It's a lovely pastel colour but there was a nicer lilac jumper on Ark a few months ago which I preferred  and really wanted as it was a gorgeous colour but, it is now no longer available. I am a big fan of Ark though and they have some lovely items. I got a really sweet, comfy mint coloured knit jumper a couple of months ago on sale for only £9 and I love it and wear it all the time so I would deffinately recommend doing some shopping at Ark as they have some lovely pieces at very good prices.

 John Belushi! Isn't he incredible? (: And Animal House is so unbelieveably good. Everyone has to watch it! I have always wanted the Bluto College Sweatshirt but I think they are harder to find these days so hopefully I can find one eventually.

I first saw this jumper on the sweet monday blog and I really like it. It's simple and Kim looks lovely in it. It's also again very grungey and very much my style and I really like the colours and pattern to the jumper so I may invest in this one at a later date, we'll see. It is from Own The Runway.

I would really like a nice sparkly/sequinny/ glittery jumper this year,too, particularly ready for December and christmas. I really like this one from Love at ASOS and I also saw a very cute grey one in Topshop the other day which I loved but, it was a bit see-through and thin when I tried it on so I wonder if this one will be any better. Always nice to have a bit of sparkle too ofcourse.










Finally I also really like these too cross jumpers from Missguided. I always think Missguided has very good prices for their products and some really nice and unique items for sale. I love the simplicity of this beige jumper and the fluffiness of the white one. I bet it's lovely, toasty and cosy. They are both very rocky aswell but also quite girly at the same time which is cool.
 
Thankyou for reading!
 
Love Courts x

Sunday Summary.


Very long time no post :). I have had a rather busy last couple of weeks. First, I started work which was scary and very tiring but I got through it. I'm still unsure about it at the moment. It's not terrible but it's also not great but then I guess that's the same for lots of people in jobs and most 18 year olds don't get given the nicest jobs to do either. I am doing the night shift and at the moment I literally cannot sleep in the day so after my two nights I am absoloutely knackered but as it's only two nights it is possible to get through on just about no sleep in over 48 hours as I have five days after to recover and be normal so not too bad and £8 an hour doesn't seem too shabby either. However, the 10 hour shift is not too pleasent :/. I can just about get to the 6am mark after 8 hours but then you literally are running on no energy for the last two hours and just want to go home and the last two hours are also horrible as a vegetarian as it's two hours of meat and fish stacking. Fantastic. The shift is actually also really draining, more so than I thought it would be. It's literally not stop lifting and stacking for about 9 and 1/2 hours and the first week I kept cutting my hands and felt really achey too but this week thankfully wasn't so bad. Everyone has been their for so long though and so they all get along really well so at the moment I feel a bit awkward and out of place as I'm quite shy anyway and they all laugh and joke together which is nice but I just stand their quietly at the moment which makes me feel bad. I hope they don't think I'm being miserable, I'm just not very confident. I think that's the worst thing at the moment. Still, two weeks done now and hopefully it will get better in time.

After my first two shifts last week I also went camping in Looe with my family which was lovely. Looe is really pretty and sweet and there are lots of lovely little shops. We also went to Trago while we were there and I saw my dream bedroom furniture; all vintage and shabby chic. I have fallen in love with the dressing table so I may have to save up for it now. How amazing would it be to have a lovely girly dressing table with perfumes and make-up scattered all over it? Then on the Tuesday we went to Plymouth and I got to splash out in primark for the first time in months which was nice. However, there weren't too many purchases with the current dwindling funds in my bank account. I got a lovely thick chunky black knit jumper with grey sleeves though for £12 which is nice and cosy as well as two belts, a cute festive scarf with robins on it and some sweet moccassin slippers. So much more could have gone in that basket though. Damn your 4 weekly payment scheme Sainsburys! I really wanted the gingerbread man onesie but has anyone else noticed that primark seem to make their onesies for giants? They are huge and far too long for my 5ft4 frame. I think they'd even bury Peter Crouch.

Camping was lovely too even in this chilly weather and it was lovely and snug in the tent at night.

Before I left to go camping I also decided to treat myself to this bag from ASOS which I love. I adore the colour, it's so bright and cheerful and I love the rocky studs. It's also quite big and roomy which is handy. Can't grumble with a sale either.

I am hoping to do quite a few posts to catch up over the next few days including a Wishlist later hopefully. However I would also like to get in some exercise as I have been very lazy recently and then I am going to recover all the calories I will have burnt by making and munching on some white chocolate cupcakes. I also have X Factor and Strictly results to watch and most likely Downton aswell however, I am currently very angry at Downton for killing Cybil. I love her and I was devestated when she died. Those tears didn't stop coming for a good 30 minutes. God sake Downton what are you playing at? With regards to Strictly Lisa is my favourite. She is amazing. I also love Denise and Louis and I loved Louis' Dirty Dancing this week. As for X Factor; James was incredible, he actually made me really like an otherwise incredibly shit song. It was brilliant! I also love District 3, as cringey as it sounds their harmony's are beautiful haha plus despite my love of rock music I have always had a slightly embarrassing softspot for boybands and they really remind me of Backstreet Boys. I guess it would make sence for Rylan to go and he also sang my least favourite song ever by singing that JLo one but still, I actually really dislike that girl with the guitar, is it Lucy? I know it's mean but I find her really annoying and don't really think she can sing but everyone else seems to love her so I don't think she'll be going.

Liverpool also won this weekend! Yay for Raheem. He's adorable and ofcourse Suso signed a 5 year contract for the club which is fantastic as he's an amazing player and hopefully I can now look at his pretty face for at least the next five years aswell which is also a nice bonus ;).

Anyway, the nephew has just walked in, or more truthfully ran in excitedly shouting, so I think it's about time I have a play with him and then tuck in to Mum's veggie stew and dumplings. Nom.

Thankyou for reading!

Love Courts x


Monday, 8 October 2012

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Cupcakes.

 
Chocolate and Peanut Butter Cupcakes. Oh my, I couldn't think of anything better. These cupcakes are delicious. The chocolate cupcakes are so moist and chocolatey and they are filled with a rich peanut butter pudding and sweet chocolate pudding and then topped with a decadent, creamy peanut butter frosting. I made these about two weeks ago using just the chocolate cupcakes and then topped them with some peanut butter frosting and a mini reese's peanut butter cup but, it felt like there was something missing so I made them again last week, adding in the pudding in the middle. You can't necessarily taste a strong flavour from the pudding but, I do think it adds that little bit extra to these cupcakes and makes them absoloutely delicious.
 
 
I also made the peanut butter frosting alot nicer the second time round and it had a much richer peanut butter flavour. You can see from the pictures>>> that the icing was much lighter and far more fluffy than the first time I made it and I think that is because I whipped it using an electric whisk rather than by hand so, I would deffinately recommend using an electric whisk as it improved the flavour and gave a lovely creamy, smooth texture to the frosting which went perfectly with the gorgeous chocolate cupcakes. As for the Reese's peanut butter cups; how adorable are these mini ones? Reese's Peanut Butter Cups; Best invention ever.
 

 
 Recipe
 
For the Chocolate Cupcakes
110g (4oz) butter at room temperature
220g (8oz) dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
165g (6oz) self raising flour
55g (2oz) cocoa
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp baking powder
140ml (1/4pint) sour cream

For the Peanut Butter Pudding
60g Golden caster sugar  
2 1/2 tsp. cornflour
1/8 teaspoon salt
210ml Evaporated milk
60ml Double cream
60g Peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
For the Chocolate Pudding
3 Tbsp.Golden Caster Sugar
1 Tbsp. Cornflour
1 Tbsp. Cocoa powder
Pinch of salt
175ml Evaporated milk
60ml Double cream
50g milk or dark chocolate
1 tsp. vanilla extract
For the Peanut Butter Frosting
110g Icing sugar
100g Creamy Peanut Butter
70g Unsalted Butter
1 tsp. Vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt
80ml Double cream

Method

First prepare both of the puddings and set aside to bake the cupcakes.

For the peanut butter pudding; whisk together the caster sugar, salt and cornflour in a large saucepan to blend. Gradually whisk in the milk, then cream. Whisk over medium heat until the mixture comes to the boil. Then boil until thick, whisking constantly for about 30 seconds. Whisk in the peanut butter; boil until thick again, whisking often for about 1 minute longer. Remove from the heat and whisk in the vanilla. Set the pan aside to cool.

Next prepare the chocolate pudding. Whisk the caster sugar, cocoa powder, salt and cornflour in a large saucepan. Gradually whisk in the milk, then cream. Whisk over medium heat until mixture comes to boil. Boil until thick, whisking constantly for about 30 seconds. Add the chopped chocolate. Boil until the chocolate melts and the pudding is thick again, whisking often for 1 to 2 minutes longer. Remove from the heat and whisk in the vanilla. Set the pan aside to cool.

Next, you will need a 12 hole Cupcake tray.

Place 12 cake cases in the Cupcake tray.

For the chocolate cupcakes, cream together the butter and sugar using an electric whisk. Gradually beat in the eggs. Add the sour cream. Sieve together the flour, cocoa and bicarbonate of soda. Fold in to the mixture.

Divide the mixture between the cake cases and bake for about 15 minutes at 180°c.

Once the cupcakes are cooked, remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Once the cupcakes are cool use an apple corer to dig out a small dip/hole in the cupcakes and fill with 2 tsp. each of the cooled chocolate pudding and peanut butter pudding.

Once the cupcakes have been filled prepare the peanut butter frosting. Place the icing sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and salt in a bowl and mix with electric mixer. Mix on medium-low speed until creamy, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula as you work. Add the cream and beat on high speed until the mixture is light and smooth.

Finally, top the cupcakes with the peanut butter frosting and a mini reese's peanut butter cup.

Wah-lah!

 
 
 
Thankyou for reading!
 
Love Courts x

Thai Peanut Noodles.

 
A busy week but, a very lazy weekend. Last week I had my two induction days at Sainsburys on Thursday and Friday which, were incredibly long. 9 hours long infact :O. I had no idea how tiring sitting still and watching videos for 9 hours could be. My body even ached from just sitting which, is a litle bit odd and also slightly worrying. I'm not sure it bodes that well for my 20 hours of shelf-stacking this week either but nevermind. The staff seem lovely though which is nice but, I am rather nervous about starting now as I think all the night shift staff are male which, makes me worry a little incase I'm really weak and slow at filling the shelves compared to them :/. What if I can't even push the trolley out onto the shop floor? I have visions of them all being bulky and towering over the top of me and my tiny 5ft4 frame. I can barely reach the second shelf let alone the top one and there will be no lifting of heavy sacks of potatoes for me. Even those tiny new potato bags are going to have to go in one at a time. You never know until you try though so, I have to be a bit more optimistic and fingers crossed I will do alright :).

I just had a nice, incredibly lazy weekend to recover though after my two days of 6am starts. There has been lots of TV catch-ups with the new Red Dwarf which was brilliant. The Cat is hilarious. Two Supernatural episodes which were amazing too as usual. Supernatural is my favourite show and I love Sam and Dean. Everybody loves Sam and Dean. Although, I seem to be having lots of nightmares at the moment so this weeks Supernatural clown episode didn't help. How terrifying are clowns? How they are allowed to entertain children I don't know. They are so scary and creepy. I watched some Strictly too which was fun as I didn't watch it at all last year. I love Lisa, she is amazing and just made me smile. I also watched Final Destination 5 which, although many people would say the films are always rubbish I actually normally quite like them but this one was pretty terrible. Normally you like the characters at least so you really don't want them to die and thats what gets you a bit more engrosed in the film as you sit there hoping that they are somehow going to survive even though you know they won't as noboby ever does. This time all of the characters are quite annoying though so you don't get that. Not that the fact they are annoying makes you want them to die :/, obviously you still don't wish them to die. I think I'm sounding a bit like a crazy person so I'm going to stop.

Yesterday I watched some Downton and the X Factor results too. I'm not enjoying Downton as much this year as I don't think the storylines are very exciting at the moment. Mum wasn't happy with me telling her this though as she was avidly watching and threatened to send me to my room if I continued to ruin her Downton experience. As for the X Factor; Louis is such an idiot, I can't believe he put her through and then changed his mind. She even celebrated which is awful. I hadn't watched any this year until Saturday and I already can't believe Rylan is in it. He's terrible and can't sing at all but nevermind, the X factor seems to like those kinds of contestants.

I am not a big fan of these dull days at the minute either, sometimes its nice to be all snug and warm indoors while it's all chilly and rainy outside but, at the moment I'm finding it a bit too gloomy and it makes me feel constantly tired which is horrible. On Saturday though I did cook this delicious meal; Peanut Noodles, Stir Fry and Vegetable Spring rolls. Yum. I love chinese and thai, and spring rolls and peanut butter are two of my favourite foods so, this meal can really do no wrong for me.

Today will actually have a peanut butter theme as I am also going to post my gorgeous Chocolate and Peanut Butter cupcake recipe later too. As I have said before, I adore peanut butter and most of the recipes I make at the moment seem to have at least some peanut butter element to them so maybe I should try and conquer this addiction.  I'm a little bit obsessed. Having said that it has led me to this lovely recipe. My peanut butter noodles recipe comes largely from my Skippy Peanut Butter recipe book which, anyone who is a fan of peanut butter should get as there are lots of lovely, unusual recipes inside. I just make a few of my own tweeks to make it how I like.

I make my  Thai Peanut Noodles with quorn as I am a vegetarian and it works out delicious as the quorn takes on all the peanutty flavour. My family who are all avid meat eaters also love it but, obviously feel free to put chicken in as that is what is in the recipe in the book anyway. This recipe is luscious, rich and creamy and I serve it alongside some stir fry, vegetable spring rolls and some egg noodles. It's delicious and smells lovely. 

Recipe

1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 bag of quorn
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 medium red pepper
1 medium yellow pepper
450ml vegetable stock
4 1/2 tbsps. Peanut butter
2 tbsp. Soy sauce
2 tbsp. Honey
1 tbsp. Rice wine vinegar
2 tsp. finely chopped fresh ginger
5 spring onions
1 pack of fresh egg noodles
1 pack of stir fry
Stir fry sauce or soy sauce
Vegetable spring rolls

1. Heat 1 tbsp. oil over a medium-high heat and cook the peppers, ginger, garlic and spring onions, stirring occassionally until the peppers soften, about 5-7 minutes.



2. Add the quorn and cook, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes.



3. Add the vegetable stock, peanut butter, soy sauce, honey and vinegar. Cook, stirring frequently until sauce is thickened and smooth, about 5 minutes.



4. Serve over or alongside hot noodles, stir fry and vegetable spring rolls. I use fresh egg noodles found in the vegetable isle of any supermarket and I also buy a shop-bought stir fry. This time I used ASDA's Water Chestnut and Bamboo shoot stir fry with the Spicy Cantonese style stir fry sauce which, was lovely. 3 for £3 on noodles, stir-fry and stir-fry sauce so not too bad. I'd like to maybe try and make my own stir fry and veggie spring rolls one day too. Maybe make my own noodles as well while I'm at it. I also actually used ASDA'S own chicken style vegetarian pieces this time as they had completely sold out of quorn and they were actually really yummy. They have more of a Tofu type texture than quorn but, it actually worked really well in this recipe and took on lots of flavour so it wasn't too bland with an unpleasant jelly-like texture which, tofu can sometimes have.



Lovely :).

Thankyou for reading!

Love Courts x

p.s sorry for this horrible highlighting, I accidently clicked it and now I have no idea how to turn it off :/.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Lemon and Mascarpone Cupcakes.





 
These little lemon cupcakes are lovely. They are nice and refreshing and look very cute and simple. The sponge is lovely, soft and moist and has a delicate lemonny flavour. The cupcakes are then filled with a delicious, strong, zesty lemon curd and topped with some sweet, rich mascarpone cream. The lemon rind just added a nice bit of vibrant colour on top but, by all means decorate with whatever you like as the texture of the lemon rind isn't the best, I just thought it looked pretty on top. Maybe zesting would be better in terms of texture.
 
I use Delia Smith's recipe for Lemon Roulade to make these cupcakes and I love it. They are lovely light and summery and her recipe is delicious, especially her lemon curd which is gorgeous and I'm not normally a big lemon curd fan.
 
Delia won't be very happy at the moment as Liverpool just beat her beloved Norwhich on Saturday whereas, I being a Liverpool fan am over the moon that we finally got the win we deserved. If it helps though Delia your Lemon Roulade recipe is delicious!



Recipe
Makes 12 Lemon Cupcakes  

For the cupcakes:
Grated zest of 2 lemons (reserve the juice for the lemon curd.)
4 oz (110 g) butter, softened
8 oz (225 g) golden caster sugar
4 large eggs
8 oz (225 g) self-raising flour, sifted

For the lemon curd:
grated zest of 2 lemons
juice of 4 lemons
4 large eggs
6 oz (175 g) golden caster sugar
4 oz (110 g) butter, softened
 
For the mascarpone cream:
2 x 250 g tubs mascarpone, well chilled
2 x 200 g tubs fromage frais, well chilled
1½ level tablespoons golden caster sugar
 

 
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.


Method

Begin by making the lemon curd ahead of time, as this needs to be well chilled. Sit a heatproof bowl over a pan of barely simmering water, but don't let the bowl touch the water.

Then place the eggs, sugar, lemon zest and juice in the bowl and whisk together. Now add the butter piece by piece and cook for about 15 minutes, giving it a good whisk from time to time, until the curd has become smooth and thickened. While you're keeping an eye on it, it's a good time to put the cake cases in the cupcake tray.

When the curd is ready, remove the bowl and allow it to cool, then cover it with clingfilm pressed over the surface and chill it in the fridge.

When you're ready to make the cupcakes, place all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and whisk, preferably with an electric hand whisk, for about 1 minute.

Next divide the mixture between the 12 cupcakes cases and bake in the oven for 13-15 minutes. Be careful as last time I made them they were moist and nowhere near done at 12 minutes and then suddennly they were firm and slightly over done at 15 minutes so I think somewhere in between will be perfect.

When the cupcakes are ready they should feel springy in the centre when lightly touched with your little finger. Then remove the cupcakes from the oven and allow them to cool.

Meanwhile, start to make the mascarpone cream by whisking the mascarpone, fromage frais and sugar together.


Once the cupcakes are cool dig a small well/dip out of the cupcakes using an apple corer and fill with about 2 tsps. of chilled lemon curd.

Next top with the mascarpone cream in however way you want. I used a piping bag and large round piping nozzle. Finally, scatter over the grated lemon rind or zest or whatever decoration you choose.

Enjoy!

Thankyou for reading!

Love Courts x